Indiana legislators are leading Hoosiers down a dangerous path. They refuse listen to Hoosiers urgent concerns about climate changes and the need for more renewable energy access. They instead pursue dangerous and costly schemes for special interests.
This is nothing new for the legislature, but it has become more urgent because of the passage time. The climate crisis has reached “code red for humanity,” according to the latest United Nations climate report. Purdue University says climate change has already led to increased extreme rainfall events, reduced agricultural production, more intense droughts, and heatwaves throughout Indiana.
Climate Crisis: Take ActionA high school student-led statewide organization,, spent months gathering support to legislative climate action from public officials. This coalition of 80 organizations and Hoosiers across Indiana was formed by students. They collected nearly 22,000 signatures.A petitionCalling for climate legislation and working to get it introduced in both the Senate and House by representatives from both parties. Their bills were not given a hearing.
In the meantime, the chair of so-called 21st Century Energy Policy Task ForceThe government refuses to permit any discussion about climate change. But legislators are always open to hearing from special interests in fossil fuels and nuclear industry.
This 2022 legislative sessionHowever, legislators refuse to hear:
● SB 255: Would have established a Climate and Environmental Justice Task Force.
● SCR 3: A resolution acknowledging the impacts of climate change.
● HB 1287: Would have created a climate change commission.
● SB 248, HB 1304: Bills that would have restored fair credit for extra electricity generated by Hoosier’s own rooftop solar panels.
● SB314, HB1136: Bills that would have extended net metering.
● SB 313 and HB1250: Would have required monopoly utilities to build and provide access to community solar projects.
● HB 1335 or SB 412: Would have cleaned up toxic coal ash pits that pollute our drinking water and groundwater.
These bills address real climate change impacts, offer equitable actions, and offer real climate solutions for our communities.
Instead, legislative leaders are moving BillsThese offer false climate solutions for special interests such as BP, Wabash Valley Resources and so-called Reliable Energie (the former Indiana Coal Council), and the nuclear industry.
● SB 265 and HB 1249: Provide the special privilege of near-blanket immunity from any damage caused by Wabash Valley Resources’ plan to pump carbon dioxide emissions into the ground, relieving them from important risks to neighboring residents and businesses.
● HB 1209: Paves the way for unproven carbon sequestration from new industrial sources of emissions throughout the State.
● SB 271: Puts the financial burden of expensive, unproven nuclear reactors on utility customers even before they are built and producing electricity.
● HB 1100: Limits the flexibility of state agencies like IDEM and DNR to adopt any regulatory protections more stringent than those at the federal level.
These bills are only beneficial to special interests and the legislators who do not care about our collective futures, financial security, and health.
Legislators are equipped to tackle climate change. Hoosiers can be empowered to support climate solutions by empowering them with the following tools: Reinstate fair net Metering, reinstitute energy efficient programs, incentivize commercially-scale renewable energy, provide funds and energy policy that accelerates the transition away from fossil fuels to more sustainable energy resources
As one of The worst statesIndiana is the U.S. leader in carbon pollution and has a crucial role to play in developing climate solutions. We can prevent the worsening effects of climate change on our communities, and our collective futures, by creating cleaner air and water, and lower energy costs. We can produce our own energy and reclaim power from monopoly utilities. We can ensure that every Hoosier benefits from the energy transition, not just those who are wealthy.
Wendy Bredhold is the senior campaign representative for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign in Indiana and Kentucky